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The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50

By Grockle et al
May 14 2017

The big game between the two front runners in this side of the draw.  If you win you are on for an immediate home semi.  If you don't... well you aren't.  Steve Davies is having a fitness test this morning.  It will be interesting to look at the batting line-up given Johan Myburgh going all out on Friday AND Hose's ton.  Somerset won the toss and will bowl.  Steve davies is in and with Dean Elgar back in South Africa for some awards ceremony it is likely that Johann Myburgh will get a second one dayer to put his wares on display.

e  v ESSEX 50 @ Taunton Sunday 14 may 2017



The spectators were around the block at 10am  this morning and although there is breeze there is the question of rain but nothing definite.  Somerset have won the toss and will bowl first and Steve Davies has passed his test and will play today.  Other than that it is very much as it was on Friday.  The side is;

Allenby, Myburgh, Davies S, Hose, Hildreth, Trego, van der Merwe, Overton C, Overton J, Greonewald, Waller

Josh Davey is 12th man.  Hacing said that at 10:45 there is grey cloud overhead and the Somerset is sparse while the Botham and Trescothick are all but full.

This game may decide who gets the home semi as a right and it is good to see faith remaining with the men who pushed us through against Gloucestertshire on Friday.  Bigger ask today.

Cook and Chopra start for the visitors against Tim G.  He's all over the place first up with a wide followed by one he gets away with followed by two more before he starts to get his line anything like right and with 3 balls gone they have 6 with 2 off the bat.

Craig takes the first from the Pavilion end and is straight on the money.  A maiden for number 2 so Essex stay on 6 for no loss as Tim continues from the River.

At 21 with the last ball of the fourth, Craig gets one to swing late as Chopra walks right across the stumps.  He is LBW for 11 and Westley replaces him at 21 for 1

Jim Allenby brings himself on to bowl the 7th with 45 on the scoreboard (mostly from Cook with 25).  This is a surprise as the skipper has been sparing with his own use during the last few games.  It's a tight over with Essex on 26 at the end of it.  The 50 comes up off a misfield in the next over from Cove Cook looks ominously in form.

The score reaches 73 off 10 with Cook on 31 and Westley catching up with 27 Craig is becoming expensive at the Pavilion and will probably need changing while Jim is mixing it up at the River and stays on for the moment.  It doesn't have the feeling of Somerset stamping their authority on this game at the moment.  It's all a bit ragged and lacking focus with the Essex men really controlling the score.

As expected, Max Waller comes on from the Pavilion for over number 12 and one hopes that this will cause more caution from the opposition batsmen as Westley misreads his first ball in the flight. He keeps them down to 3 in his first over but the general outfielding has been poor and it is not much later that a four is given away through a lack of concentration by one of the Overtons.

Into the 90's by the end of the 15th with Westley overtaking Cook but both of them looking at a half ton in the next couple of overs against the continued attack of Allenby and Waller. Jim does get Westley to make the first play and miss of the day halway through the 17th but the pressure is not extensive and his half ccentury comes up before the end of the over  from 42 balls as Essex finish the 17th on 108 for 1.  (Westley 42 balls 9 fours).

Alistair Cook goes to his 50 off 54 balls (7 fours) midway through the 19th with his side on 121.  He has had a good tournament with a couple of hundreds and other significant scores - failing only once really..  We need to see the back of him because he accumulates when he is in this mood.

Max has been the pick of our bowlers up until now with variation and movement. At 20 overs Essex have 126 and Somerset bring on RvdM to see if spin from both end will change something.  It brings aout the first six of the Essex innings off Max in the 22nd as Westley plants one in the churchyard but other than that Essex roll on and we are starting to look for something to change this innings - the options are sparse.

The 150 arrives with a Westley six into the Somerset Stand during the 23rd and we are certainly looking at a 300 plus score at the moment unless something changes quite soon.  These two seem set and Jamie has been introduced at the pavilion to see if he can break something in the 24th.  His first is short and pulled by Cook but only for a single.  On this occasion the short delivery stuff reaps reward as Cook wafts at one too many after being contained and is caught behind off the last ball of the 24th for 65.  156 for 2 and in walks Ravi Bopara.

As we move into the 30th over from Jamie Essex move into the 180's - still on for a significant 300 plus score.  Westley is on 89 and Ravi has moved on to 11. 182 up at 30 overs.  Tim is back on at the River facing Westley on 90 but it is Bopara he has playing and missing and looking scratchy - he only goes for 1 off the 31st. As Essex move towards the 200, the Somerset fielding improves a little but it is looking on as we start the 35th  The crowd is probably the highest one day attendance of this season but Tim gives them a gift boundary to take the visitors to 201 with the first ball.  Westley also moves to 100 off 95 (10 fours 2 sixes) halfway through the same Groenewald over - he continues the Taunton tradition of making a big score here after being out of form everywhere else.   204 at 35 and 360 definitely on unless something happens quickly with 8 wickets in hand. 

RvdM comes on at the Pavilion for the 36th and does a job as the ball pitches on leg, Westley, on one knee, misses it and is bowled between his bat and pad 209/3 and an excellent innings comes to an end.  In comes the skipper Ten Doeschate - so the panic is not over as these two can move the score at pace.  However at 37.4 RvdM sends Ten Doeschate on his way cheaply bowling him at 215 for 3.  BIG wicket in relation ot the shape of this innings as Bopara has been a bit tentative throughout his innings. Zaidi takes his place. 

The infielding and outfielding has improved and Ravi is being particularly pensive.  Together this has pulled the total down a little alongside the pressure of RVDM and the improved accuracy of Tim after a poor first spell.229 for 4 after 40.  300 is very much still on but maybe this side of 350 if we keep this up. After 42 Roelof is definitely winning the battle with Ravi who has moved on to 45 off 54 but is trying valiantly to accelerate and presently getting nowhere. We finally see a six from him to move past 50 in 56 balls with one six and four fours.  it also brings up Essex's 250 at the same time and they move to 255 after 43.  This has to be the start of the push towards the end of the innings.  They have the wickets, Bopara may have finally got his eye in and Zaidi is starting to look for openings as well as he dispatches RvdM to the boundary and then gets a fortunate run of the ball to get a second through his legs to the River end straight afterwards. This is the luck you need.  RVdM's final over goes for 5 boundaries which spoils an excellent spell and takes the visitors to 275 with 6 to go.

Jamie returns at the River after 34 runs come off the last two overs with a job to do if we are to keep this down to a something we can chase.  Concentration in these last few could make the difference in this game.  10 off the 45th takes them to 285 as Craig prepares to join his brother at the Pavilion. The cloud is building up and there is a hint of moiisture in the air which may well affetc the start of the Somerset reply. 295 at the end of the 46th.  The 47th is one of those 'strokeplayer v fast bowler' overs with Bopara trying to put Jamie away and Jamie moving the ball all over the place, one over the shoulder, a couple full a couple wideish - it ends with Overton winning and the score going to 297.

Zaidi redresses the balance with a six to bring up 300 off Craig's first ball but he tries it again soon after and dies to an excellent Hose diving catch in front of the larger electronic scorebboard.  303 for 5 in the 48th. Foster comes in and goes out almost as quickly as Bopara calls him through for a second as the ball goes from midwicket to wicketkeeper to bowler with Foster well short.  304 for 6 with Foster not all that happy walking out and Walter walking in. Down comes the drizzle at the end of the 48th and the umpires take them off.

That is probably Essex's lot.  The covers are on and the rain is pretty heavy. But I'm wrong because at 1:10 the umpires (one of whom is 'George Burns' bring the sides out again to finish the innings.  307 for 6 with 12 balls to go, Jamie bowling from the River to Bopara who seems to be out to the first ball but is ajudged to have hit a 'bump' ball straight to Johann.  A bouncer helped by Bopara on its way over Davies' head spoils the over as the last ball of the over is also swiped upwards for six. 319 for 6 with 6 to go from Craig. Bopara facing, first ball driven for two, well fielded by Waller in the deep.  Ball 2 is pulled for a single tot he same fielder and Ravi has broken his bat it seems.  Third ball is over the infield  for 2.  Ball 4 is the same shot but a little higher. Ball 5 is driven for 1 and the final ball goes straight for six 334 for 6 with Bopara stranded on 92from 81 balls - a little better than his position at 50.  Well down on the predictions at 35 overs, perhaps even 40 overs.  335 to win.

The Reply

So... did we all enjoy the first 6.3 overs?  Johann Myburgh, sent out to get a close to 100 as possible in the first 10 hitting everything everywhere with power and shot selection.  Going to 50 off 26 balls with a six to the scoreboard and sticking it to Wagner while Jimbo scored a single and a boundary.  It was magnificent and a shame when he put snow on one and went to a very good boundary catch.  Peter followed but did not show the same level of fireworks and returned to the hutch after a very good diving catchJim.  Now at 82 for 2 after 10 overs we are ahead of the DL while Allenby has been given time to settle and Steve Davies wasn't in with 2 overs gone and a ball with shine on it.  Johann certainly took the shine off the ball in no uncertain terms.

The 100 arrives at the end of the 12th with Allenby on 20 and Davies on 17. 101 for 2 with 38 to go.  Steve's batting flowers for a little before it dies at 20 and 108 for 3 when he is bowled by Harmer and in comes James Hildreth as the balance swings towards Essex once again after a blistering start.  After 15 the brakes are on and we have moved to 121 for 3.  By the 20th over the 150 is in sight but things have latered greatly as the Essex spinners Zaidi and Hamer have very much put the press on against a much more wary Hildreth and Allenby. Ten Doeschate comes on from the Pavilion end with his difficult to read dibbly dobblers against a circumspect James and Jim on 49, just one short of 50.  He gets there with a single off 56 balls at 149 for 3 but Hildreth feathers one off the next ball trying to cut and goes for 14.  Not what we wanted.  It pushes Hose into a pressure situation he probably will not appreciate after the heroics at Bristol on Froday.  Batsmen hardly do it twice in succession but that is excatly what Somerset need him to do.  222 overs gone and 149 for 4. 

Jim takes his side past 150 with the next ball.  By the halfway stage though we haven't exactly shot away having reached 158 for no further loss.  In the hunt but we will need to move in the last 10 unless the momentum picks up in the next 15. Jim Allenby is on 56 and Adam Hose has 5. By the 30th we are making a little better progress as the odd boundary has bolstered the score. At the end of Zaidi's over from the pavilion, Somerset are 18 for 4 with Hose on 18 and Allenby moving on to 69.  The scores are very much parrallel so the thrust of this innings still has to come but there is some forward movement albeit very slow presently. 

Wagner is back at the River end during the 33rd to try and break up this partnership which passes 50 at 200 halfway through the over. But Allenby lobs it to cover at 32.4 and we are 200 for was going so well.  However, Jim did contribute 77 off hhis 89 balls and tha is better than a poke in the eye.  Out comes RvdM and Wagner has done achieved the task set him by his captain.  This should show us the mettle of Adam Hose whose big change this year is that he does not try and push along until he feels ready now, no rushed shots to keep the scoreboard ticking merrily.  There is no rush yet and if these two can stay to gether this total is perfectly gettable with 17 overs to go.

With 15 to go the required rate is 124 off the 15.  Anything under the magic 100 off 10 without more wickets going down would be good.  RvdM has been thre a number of times and if Adam has got a base of 50 odd then we ought to be well set.  However that is not to be as Hosey does not stay around and is on his way for 28 at 212 for 6 bowled by Harmer.  Jamie comes in forst to try and help Roelof move this on.  He is more of a 'get there fast' kind of player but if he gets himself in then it can move at pace.  OvetHe doesn't seem to waant to wait as he sixes harmer into the Ondaatje carpark on his second ball.  But he tries it again and is caught by the fielder he has just cleared.  The term 'braindead' is floating about the rooms here and we are 218 for 7 with the more sensible Overton walking out past his brother who sprints off to face the music one would expect.  Let's hope he doesn't repeat his twin's daftness as we still need 117 with only 3 wickets left. 

RvdM wafts at one and there might have been an inside edge at 38.5.  It was a 50:50 one on the replay but the umpire gives it and we are 230 for 8 with 11.1 overs to go.  Tim Groenewald comes in to try and push it through.  He is certainly worth watching but it does look doubtful at 10 and over and a hundred to get.

Not over yet but pretty much there or there abouts.  Can't see us getting there from here even though we only need 104 off 10.  A few wafts when you need sense, a few wides at the start when you need focus, a few outfield errors when you need solid defence and you are 60 short of a gettable total I am afraid.  We will probably qualify anyway but not in the commanding position we ought to be in after the performances put up in other games.

I will NOT take the blame for being here for the only two games we have lost in this!!  Though the guilt is seeping through whether I like it or not.  It is under three figures at the end of the 41st.  239 for 8.

Up comes the 250 at the end of the 42nd.  With a flat batted six that wasn't supposed to get anything and a wafted four over his own head to get us there. Tim hits a four and a very decent siz in the 43rd before 'leaving' one across the line.  But it was not to last as he smacks one down the boundary fielder's throat and departs at the end of the 43rd with 262 on the board and 17 to his name.  In comes Max Waller and Craig is run out almost immediately losing the game by 72 runs.  The game was pretty effectively lost when we lost Pete, Steve and James for not a lot.  Still on when Jamie came in but he lost his head and the tail were left too much to do sensibly.


Ahhh well.  One that definitely got away I am afraid.





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The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50 (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 09:47
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:20:10:03:33 by Grockle.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
rodders (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 17:01
Hildreth and Trego poor again sadly and some poor bowling and fielding but hey ho twas a good chase and you can't win em all - have to agree with AG though and the missing man was critical in my view - for a ..........?

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
cricketharris (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 18:45
I have only just realised that the two winners of the leagues go straight to the semi-finals where they play, at home, against the winners of the two quarter-finals which comprise the second and third teams in the leagues. Okay, okay, so you all already knew that. Even more important to win our league.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Grizzzly (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 19:15
Really disappointed with our batting today.

With the ball, generally speaking, I felt we were pretty tight & kept the score within reasonable bounds. Aside from TG's first over, which resembled a mini Boswellesque episode, (has he ever bowled a ten ball, four wide over before ?), we stuck at our task, even if our fielding was at times, a bit scrappy.

But the batting ?

After JM's superb onslaught (granted he should have been caught before scoring), we were in an excellent position, and even after he departed, at 15 overs, we had rattled up 121 - 3 at over 8 an over, entailing a residual r/r of only about 6.

Therafter, we simply didn't show the urgency or discipline needed to complete the task. Jim top scored with 77, but i.m.h.o. was as much to blame as the others as he meandered along.

Overs 16-25 yielded a paltry 36 runs.

How many singles did we turn into two's, two's into three's etc. ? We also seemed to go for an age without a boundary at times.

All it did was build scoreboard pressure against us, leading to the run rate escalating to the stage where we just pretty much gave up the game as lost.

For the second consecutive home innings, we concluded our effort way ahead of our allocated overs, with with nearly seven still remaining, which speaks for itself.

Praise where praise is due & we have turned in some superb perfomances in this competition to date.

But today certainly wasn't one of them.


P.S. We really need Pete,James & Mr D. Senior to get their heads on straight as we move forwards (hopefully) in this tournament.

James in particular, is a genius when his mind is in the right place. If only it would stay there for a little longer.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:14:19:24:10 by Grizzzly.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
cricketjerry-mouse (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 19:22
You got the feeling it wasn`t going to be Somerset`s day when Tim Groenewald, who bowled a maiden to the formidable Michael Klinger in the opening over at Bristol on Friday (twice beating the bat),started today with four wides in his first six balls.

Mike BOS
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Mike TA1 (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 20:04
A pity about the result, the result wasn't helped by some of the fielding, Peter Trego didn't have a good day in the field or with the bat, and James Hildreth let us down with the bat.

I thought the bowling was good enough and an umpire giving wides in the first over when some of the ball didn't look wide.

we can't expect Adam Hose to do it every match, he looked like he might until he was bowled by Simon Harmer.

James Hildreth is going through a bad time not help by the bad choice of shot, angled bat caught behind by James Foster off the bowling of Ryan ten Doeschata.

I was glad to see Steve Davies get some runs but he still needs to select when to play the big shot, how he managed to get bowled playing this shot goodness knows, with Steve covering most of the stumps Simon Harmer still managed to clip the bail off.

Johann Myburgh did what was required at the start of the innings, nobody could complain how he was out after giving us such a good start, this photo is a six hit by JM.

Ryan ten Doeschata bowled by Roelof van der Merwe.

Tom Westley also bowled by Roelof van der Merwe.

Alastair Cook caught by Steve Davies bowled by Jamie Overton.

A bit of surprise seeing Jim Allenby bowl after not seeing him bowl much in the fifty over games.
Alastair Cook edge a ball from Jim Allenby that didn't carry to Peter Trego.

We can still finish top if .......

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Bobstan (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 20:46
The forecast for Marylebone on Wednesday is currently fairly dire.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Scrumper (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 21:03
Forecast does look bad, does 2nd place mean a home q/f?

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Railboy (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 21:04
On the bright side, we are now guaranteed a quarter final place, and it would take a big nrr swing to deny us a home fixture, as it stands against Notts. Course we could still go straight to the semi!

wsm fan
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
wsm fan (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 22:16
Tues June13 home quarter v Notts as it stands.....
Away semi then 3 or 4 days later.
Not much time to plan for that.
Also Yorks home 4 dayer potentially ends 6pm Monday June12 so hardly ideal.....

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Grockle (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 23:20
Yes and I won't be there to jinx the whole thing unless it happens after the 10th of June.

Sorry guys. Back to the land of sand tomorrow afternoon,


geordie moonraker
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
geordie moonraker (IP Logged)
14/05/2017 23:32
I'm stopping off in Taunton for the Yorkshire game...if we come second then the semi final is the next day.Shall I stay another day?

Tom Seymour
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Tom Seymour (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 08:28
A mediocre display in all departments by Somerset yesterday.

What more can one say? Well one could. Whatever was there for us to win 5 games so far in this comp. wasn't there yesterday. Hildreth and one or two others need to step up to the plate because our batting is too suspect and inconsistent, and our bowling likewise.

Playing on featherbeds at Taunton every game puts pressure on us. Our bowlers get hammered and batters can't summon resources to work for a big individual score every time, so its all a bit hit and miss.

That's my 50 over cricket finished for another year, I shan't watch any more.

A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.

Loyal of Lhasa
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Loyal of Lhasa (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 08:32
I suggest you stay until 28th September, our last day at Taunton this year, and I hope to catch up with you at some time while you are there.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Grockle (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 14:35
Yep Tom absolutely mediocre batting from Johann and Max Waller was the epitome of the term with the ball.

Good call sir... stay away and save yourself from these very poor displays.

A bad result makes everyone mediocre but a good result s usually assessed as only the result of one single player performance... weird that isn't it?

Ahh well....


Tom Seymour
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Tom Seymour (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 15:59
A bad result makes everyone mediocre but a good result s usually assessed as only the result of one single player performance... weird that isn't it?

Ahh well....

You clearly don't understand the difference in the meaning of the words mediocre and bad. What I witnessed was mediocre and the reason that we lost the game by a distance..

Maybe you have been burying your head for too long in those sand dunes that you are heading back to. Good luck with that.

A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Grockle (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 17:05
Oh I clearly do Tom. I also understand and completely agree with your decision to stay away. I could mention a number of promising and decent things that happened yesterday in a poor result but what would be the point?

You can't see any wood for all those mediocre trees. There was good bad and mediocre. The result was a mix of the three. But when you classify everything as 50 shades of dark I suppose its a problem to stay motivated.

Never mind aye? We'll watch and report for you and you can pick out the gloomier bits.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:15:17:37:29 by Grockle.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 17:49
Mybs certainly a huge plus especially because, IMO, he is likely to be needed upon the resumption of red-ball cricket. Hose has also been a big plus in this campaign and, with Elgar unavailable and Abell, arguably, unpickable (I'm told that he added another club cricket failure at the weekend) then AH may also be needed vs Warks.

Tom Seymour
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Tom Seymour (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 17:49
I could mention a number of promising and decent things that happened yesterday in a poor result but what would be the point?

As I was there, there is no point because the point is we lost. Or haven't your tinted glasses made you aware of that?

Clarence Parker
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 18:01
Tom Abell's form even in the Second XI is very worrying, and as it has been identified that he is suffering from the effects of some unwise coaching whilst in Australia this past Winter, I feel that it would be very unwise (both for his sake as well as for the club's) to select him immediately for the Firsts.

If those at the club should realise this, and I very much doubt that they will, they should not try to explain his absence being as the result of a 'mystery injury'. I would rather they were honest enough to say that he is in need of needing to work on his game in order to get it back to where it should be.

If so, Trego for stand in captain.

bob andrews
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
old boy! (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 18:17
Surely the Management MUST protect Tom . He is a wonderful talent who, for the moment has lost his way battingwise, and needs to be taken out of the firing line until he recovers his confidence. I'm afraid that if he is persisted with next match he may find it very difficult to recover if he fails again. I would like him to be given time to recover his skills and for the next couple of seasons really establish himself as an automatic choice as a top order batsman, and perhaps looking at regaining the captaincy after that.
I agree Clarence - if he will take it, give it to Peter.
Old Boy!

wsm fan
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
wsm fan (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 18:29
Tom is our captain.
He has had 2 matches. 4 innings. One dismissal was a nick down legside.
Of course he needs runs soon but its crazy to be dropping our captain after just 2 poor matches.
If he was the right choice in December surely he deserves more than 2 matches.

Everyone entitled to their opinion, the above is mine. I have no intetest in debating it.
If he scores runs Friday i'll be well pleased for him.
To even be questioning him after 2 games makes no sense to me.
People seem increasingly short term these days.
We have 4 champo games in a row now, if after those things havent improved yes maybe a call to revisit things but 2 games for me isnt enough to write him off.

And to pre-empt, pre season nor 2nd team matter a jot, nice if you get runs but champo runs the only currency that matters.
Finally i think his captaincy has been unquestionable so far, a score with the bat Friday and all sorted!

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Cleavo (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 20:24
Agree with WSM fan the management will persevere with Tom for a while yet otherwise their decision to give him the captaincy in the first place will be questioned. For what it's worth I think his captaincy has been fine so far. To question him 2 games in is ridiculous. Of course he needs runs asap, but as do most of our top order in Championship excluding Elgar. Second innings batting in both championship matches is what has cost us. More application and discipline required by all the batters if we are to improve on our poor start.

Unfortunately, too many jump on the bandwagon and expect instant results a bit like the current football fan. Let's reassess after next 4 championship games. Nothing will please me more than Tom hitting a ton on Friday to silence the doubters!

Farmer White
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Farmer White (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 20:55
Sorry to change the subject back but here is my take on the Essex 50 over match.

Somerset came up against the prevailing wind on Sunday. Not the one from the West that usually governs these parts and leaves the trunk of the small tree in my front garden with a permanent Eastward list. In this match the stronger wind blew from the East, all the way from Essex, with a powerful unceasing force. Somerset stood hard against it at times but somehow did not seem to be quite on top of their game and, in the end, were blown away.

Essex played with unremitting force throughout and it will take a team capable of applying greater force throughout, and it will have to be throughout, a game to overcome them in this competition. How Glamorgan managed to beat them, for no-one else has, is a mystery. It seemed at the time as if Essex folded under the pressure of the chase. It seems unlikely they will allow that to happen again. And they may have come back even stronger. Middlesex were despatched by 7 wickets in the next game and, in the end, Somerset wilted in the gale yesterday.

After a near faultless fielding performance at Bristol Somerset were, to a startled crowd not used to profligacy in the field, well off the pace at the start of the Essex innings. In the first dozen or so overs the ball went through hands as if it was coated in the best organic butter more times than I suspect it has all season. It perhaps gifted Essex twenty or so runs. There had been a lot of overnight rain. Perhaps the ball came off the grass a little greasy but if it did there was not enough getting the body behind the ball in the old-fashioned way. Whatever the reason, and it may have nothing to do with a greasy ball, it cost Somerset dear.

Tim Groenewald’s, I imagine unprecedented for him, four wides in the first over and 26 runs off his first three added to Essex’s advantage. Unless they expected some early life, which did not materialise, Somerset must have expected to chase upwards of 300 on this flattest of pitches when they chose to field. At the end of the twelfth over Essex had breezed along to 79-1, the immediate pressure was off, and the straws in the wind were of a total upwards of 350. A pity when a good ball from Craig Overton, had pinned Chopra early.

In the next 10 overs 61 more were added mainly against some Somerset persistence from Waller and Allenby and a fast improving fielding performance. Only three fours and a six as Essex minimised risk. In current 50 over cricket 6 an over is not storming along but with the pressure taken off from the start Essex were perhaps freed up to push an extra run an over above the norm for this stage of an innings in spite of Somerset’s improving fielding and bowling. 140-1 from 22 with the modern rule of thumb to estimate a 50 over total with wickets in hand being to double the 30 over score. 380 was the darkening storm cloud threatening Somerset’s horizon.

Enter Jamie Overton after another 11 runs in the 23rd over to bowl with pace and control to tempt Cook to waft a wide fast last ball through to Davies. Cook 65. Essex 156-2. Now Somerset really put their faces into the wind and the bowlers, van de Merwe, both Overtons, a returning and more familiarly accurate Groenewald and the fielders, now fully back on song, started to constrain Essex. 12 overs for 55 runs with only three boundaries. 182-2 in the 30th. 209-2 in the 36th. A spirited comeback by Somerset but a tremendous base for the final assault although not quite in range of the huge total that might have been.

Somerset’s application of pressure after the fall of Cook eventually told. Van de Merwe bowled Westley for 100 and ten Doeschate for 3 in successive overs. 215-4 in the 38th. The game, if not exactly back in the balance, was less uneven than it had been. Essex though steadied themselves, perhaps remembering Cardiff, and responded to pressure with pressure in the form of Bopara and Zaidi. 39 runs in the first 5 overs of their partnership and 42 in the second 4. 297-4 off 47. Somerset still clung on and two wickets in the 48th, Zaidi to a stunning, swooping Walleresque boundary catch from Hose and Foster to a sharp run out momentarily raised hopes of finally slowing the Essex charge. Perhaps they might be held to 320. Then the West Country prevailing wind blew in a shower from over the flats and delayed play for 15 minutes. Somerset bowl their overs at such a speed these days that there was time for Essex to regroup and for the final two overs before the cut off time from which they hit 27. 334-6. Perhaps 40 less than Essex might have hoped for before Cook was out and perhaps 40 more than Somerset would have hoped for when they put them in.

Somerset showed no signs of being cowed. They started their innings by puncturing the unrelenting Essex storm with a tornado of their own. Johannes Myburg, the almost forgotten man among Somerset’s batsmen, having popped one straight to mid-on in the first over and being inexplicably dropped by Walter, suddenly let loose a flashing bat with such speed, ferocity and frequency that, had it had a sharp edge, it could have cleared Essex of more trees than the Great Storm of 1987. Eventually and inevitably he miss-hit a vicious pull which climbed steeply towards and way above the height of the flats. Even so he might just have survived with another 6 had the ball not been hit full in the face by that home wind which roared from over the flats. As it was, the ball fell away to Chopra three or four yards inside the boundary. Myburg had hit six 4s, four 6s and 57 in total from the last 23 balls of his innings having hit none off the first 5. 64-1 in 6.3 overs, the original required rate of 6.7 reduced to 6.2 and the target from 335 to 272. Myburg had undone the damage of the first dozen overs of the match.

Now, the two teams were eye ball to eye ball, both in with a chance. Somerset needed 6.2 an over. Over the next 15 overs they kept going, face to that persevering Essex wind, scoring at 5.5 an over in the face of tight bowling, the required rate still only 6.6 an over. But Trego, Davies and Hildreth, the experienced heart of the top order, had fallen away in the attempt to keep the score moving. Somerset were still just in the game but the unremitting pressure from Essex was now beginning to tell. 149-4 and still 186 needed.

Now Allenby, who had pushed and occasionally hit his way past 50, and Hose tried to make headway against Bopara, ten Doeschate and Zaidi. Hose in particular strained to increase the run rate but after another 10 overs they had barely managed 5 an over and the required rate was approaching 8. Still at 202-4 in the 33rd another 133 in 16 overs was a far from impossible hope in today’s one day cricket.

Then, as Somerset were trying to gauge when to unleash their charge Essex unleashed the whirlwind run up of Wagner and the silky-smooth one of Harmer. Somerset could not withstand the wind that blew then as four wickets fell in 6 overs for 28 runs and apart from a final flurry from Craig Overton and Tim Groenewald the innings subsided.

Somerset’s batsmen had kept going throughout. They were ahead of Essex in runs scored at the end of the 10th, 20th, 30th, and 40th overs. It was the wickets that fell away. The respective scores in ten over blocks were:

10 overs: Essex 73-1 Somerset 82-2. 20 overs: Essex 126-1 Somerset 142-3. 30 overs Essex: 182-2 Somerset 187-4. 40 overs Essex 229-4 Somerset 231-8. It was Cardiff in reverse.

If Essex continue to play like this Somerset will probably have to beat them if they want to win this competition. They will have to play with the unremitting determination and application that Essex showed here and which Somerset showed at Cardiff and Bristol. Even if they do they will be met with the same from Essex and the match will go to the team that can outlast the other and which blinks last. The preparation needed will be more than hard cricket skills practice. The team will need to go into the match as mentally tough as the East wind that blew across Taunton on Sunday.

And a final observation. The scoreboard operated to perfection as in the Hampshire match. Dorian Gray lives.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:15:21:24:14 by Farmer White.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 21:11
I think protection is exactly the right word, Old Boy, in respect of Tom Abell but whether management will have the sense to do this remains to be seen.

If Second XI is irrelevant, WSM, then there is surely zero point in even sending Tom out to bat in those games!?

The reality surely should be that, to have confidence in selecting Tom, management should surely need to see some sort of evidence that his form is on the turn.. as it is I'm not sure he's made it into double figures in any game at any level (including club and second XI) since the first tranche of red-ball games ended.

It would obviously be embarrassing for the club to have to withdraw Tom from the firing line so soon after making him Captain but getting Tom right is, undoubtedly, far more important than sparing any managerial blushes.

As things stand, current form of top five members presumed to be likely to be picked for Warks is as follows:

Tres - unknown
Hildreth - unconvincing
Davies, S - awful
Tom - non-existant
Mybs/Hose/- very good.

Looking at that list it may be a better idea to pick both Mybs and Hose rather than only one of them plus the other four. Of course there are also the form-horse youngsters, Bartlett and Byrom plus Tim Rouse has returned from uni and scored solidly too. But there's a big gap between seconds and firsts (which makes Tom's failures in the twos all the more worrying).

Looking at the forecast, I've a feeling that Allenby may replace VDM and bat at 7.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 21:20
Cleavo - here's the difference - six games of the football season is about 15% of a Prem season or 13% of a Championship one. Six games of CC1 is more than 40% of the entire season. So there's a much more pressing need for urgent improvement over the course of 3-4 CC1 games than there is over a similar span of games in the footy. Hence form should, logically, be considered a more immediate concern early in a cricket season than a football one.

After two dire results, Somerset simply cannot afford to continue in the same vein - and the more batsmen in poor form that we select, the more likely it probably is that we will fail again.

To my mind the captaincy is a red herring. Pick eleven guys and then find somebody to skipper them - if we really have nobody else in the club capable of doing the job then we really do have problems.

If, as has been suggested, Tom has this technical issue, it's a huge ask to battle through this flaw and Captain the CC1 first XI.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:15:21:30:37 by AG on apple.

wsm fan
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
wsm fan (IP Logged)
15/05/2017 21:29
Its looking for an issue where there isnt one.
Tom is captain, he is our future. We need to back him not make up stories after 2 games to try & cause a stir.
We simply will not give up on our whole pre season plan after 2 games.
As for Jim, if 2 years of averaging under 25 is what is needed yep pick him. I like Jim & yes useful but his Somersetv4 day record doesnt warrant his picking.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Grockle (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 04:37
The old adage. Pick your best eleven then choose your captain seems pertinent. Is Tom good enough to be in our top eleven? Is Steve Davies? Can we leave others out? Does Tom need time? If he does give it to him and if he comes back stronger all the better. Professional sport is rarely charitable. Hard decisions are part of the job.


Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Grockle (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 04:43
I don't wear tinted glasses Tom. Mine are just a little lighter than the dark ones you wear. They manage to see
a spectrum of colour rather than just black and....well black.

A team can lose a game without it being an unmitigated
disaster in the real world. This loss will not stop us progressing and some players yesterday will not be despondent about their own perfomances which gives the side something to build on. 😁😁

I was there as well but I didn't see what you saw because I don't come with expectations of seeing failure on a regular basis. We lost a game we could have won but your statement about the level of mediocrity across the board is simply not true.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:21:11:15:14 by Grockle.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 06:11
There's a little bit more to it than just two poor first class games. No runs in the last couple of weeks in the second XI, and I think AGod said he failed to make any runs in a weekend club game. So, in fact it is a month of the season with no runs. You can't really say his 2nd XI failures don't count, as they weren't first class matches.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 07:23
There is an issue, WSM, because Matthew Maynard has publicly identified a technical gremlin as an issue. So this isn't the product of the fevered imagination of posters.

The scoreboards/books also say that Tom is having major issues scoring runs in all types of cricket match that he has been playing since the start of the season.

There's no doubt that this is a delicate situation...whichever way Matthew jumps on this he might be criticised and/or the decision may not be the best one for Tom. If Tom had been scoring runs whilst his colleagues were playing 50 over cricket then there would be no question over his inclusion - because the club would have seen evidence of returning form. Equally, if the rest of the probable top five were in sparkling form then, from the team point of view, there'd be more scope for gambling on Tom's form (although said gamble might still be the wrong thing for Tom).

For a 22-year old, skippering a team whose main batsmen are, generally, in unconvincing form, whilst simultaneously being in extremely poor form yourself and (presumably) still struggling with a technical issue is no walk in the park.

Of course, Tom himself might show great maturity by taking any decision out of Mr Maynard's hands which he could do by saying that he feels that he needs to work on his game away from the first XI.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 07:28
As for Jim, WSM, let's face it - neither one of Jim or Roelof has shown many signs of being consistent/reliable with the bat in red-ball cricket. Both have been pretty consistent and useful with the ball. If there's a lot of wet stuff about (as per forecast) then two spinners might be deemed excessive. I suppose the temptation might be to elongate the batting, under those circumstances, by leaving Jack out but I think that would be a mistake as one should always pick one's best bowler PLUS Jack has put most others to shame with the bat in red-ball this season anyway.

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Bagpuss (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 09:18
I thought Elgar was back for Friday AG.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 09:27
I thought he was stuck at a CSA training camp? (Not that he would, necessarily, view it that way)

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Bagpuss (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 10:31
He flew back to SA for an awards ceremony. Thought I saw somewhere he was missing 2 matches but I may be wrong

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 12:28
I think it's awards ceremony first, camp second. I understand that SCCC were attempting to extricate him from the camp but I can't personally see why CSA would wish to play ball. However, if the camp was only 3 days or something then maybe it might be finished by tomorrow evening.

AG on apple
Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
AG on apple (IP Logged)
16/05/2017 12:30
It seems I was mistaken - the camp is (or at least was) scheduled for 'late May,' so maybe he plays Warks but misses Hants?


Or maybe we don't fly him back for one match if he's got to be back in SA 'late May.'

Re: The Only Way is Through Essex 2 50
Nailsea_Fizz (IP Logged)
20/05/2017 16:45

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